Choreographer Pascal Rioult’s latest work, “Fire in the Sky,” is an artistic interpretation of his life in the world of dance. Set to the music of Deep Purple, the modern dance production features whimsical costumes by Patricia Field.
“This is the music that I danced to in the Seventies in clubs,” explains Rioult, who founded RIOULT Dance NY in 1994. “The journey to becoming a professional dancer and choreographer and artistic director really started in those clubs.”
While the French-born Rioult was inspired by rock ‘n’ roll, Field took a more disco approach to the costume designs, which incorporate a generous amount of neon and sequins. “Disco was one of those eras when people were happy and dancing,” says Field. “That was part of my inspiration [for this show] — the idea of when people are happy they dance. The colors go along with that because when people are happy they wear color.”
The former “Sex and the City” costumer, known for her liberal use of bold colors and wild patterns in her personal wardrobe, drew from a palette of pinks, oranges, blues and metallic tones in dressing the show’s 12-person ensemble. “The colors are happy — my favorite word,” exclaims Field. “Don’t ask me to do a cop show or a war show. I’m not inspired. I couldn’t do it. The happy has to be there.”
When Rioult approached Field to design the costumes for “Fire in the Sky,” the native New Yorker agreed only if she could include longtime collaborator David Dalrymple in the process.
“David has a studio and a crew that sews,” notes the ruby-haired designer. “We’re adding these little fringe skirts, which were made from deconstructed rag rugs that you buy in the 99-cent store.”
Dalrymple, who also designs costumes for the Brooklyn Nets cheerleaders, is experienced in creating eye-catching looks that provide movement. Additional elements to the custom-designed pieces will include fishnet arm covers and ample fringe, but Field wanted to actively avoid drawing too much inspiration from the “Smoke on the Water” band’s colorful name.
“In general I didn’t want to get limited or hooked into the purple thing alone,” says Field. “I feel confident that it will be fun and happy and that’s really what I want to see.”
“Fire in the Sky” runs at The Joyce Theater in NYC from May 31 to June 4.